Rev Osteoporos Metab Miner. 2011; 3 (4): 193
2 Universidad de Las Palmas de Gan Canaria – Grupo de Investigación en Osteoporosis – Gran Canaria
The existence of hypovitaminosis D in the population is well known, both in the general population and in certain groups of patients1,2, being most significant in older people who are institutionalised in residential homes3.
The Canary Islands, being an archipelago with a large number of hours of sun and, therefore, with a high availability of what constitutes the natural source of vitamin D, might be expected to have a low prevalence of hypovitaminosis D expected in its population. However, various studies in our environment have confirmed that levels of vitamin D are as low as those in other areas of Spain situated further north4-8. Hence, highly notable is a study carried out in Canarian medical students who, being young, healthy and with sufficient knowledge of the physiology of vitamin D, and even though spending a large number of hours in the sun, still had a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D9.
Table 1 shows the data obtained. 62.3% of the population who participated in the study were women. The overall average age of the participants was almost 52 years. It was observed that more than half the patients who participated in the study (50.6%) had values of 25-HCC lower than 30 ng/mL, this prevalence being higher in women (54.5%) than in men (44.3%).
Our study showed the elevated prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in an unselected group of individuals who simply attended the health centre for the performance of a control analysis for another medical condition (hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, health prevention activities, etc.), and who could well be seen as representative of the “real world” of patients attending a health centre. This coincides with that seen in other studies be they randomised or observational1,3-9]. With this study we have attempted to confirm the “epidemic” of which hypovitaminosis D consists, and which is very often undiagnosed.
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9. González-Padilla E, Soria López A, González-Rodríguez E, García-Santana S, Mirallave-Pescador A, Groba Marco M del V, et al. Elevada prevalencia de hipovitaminosis D en estudiantes de medicina en Gran Canaria, Islas Canarias (España). Endocrinol Nutr 2011;58:267-73.